Krumping



Krumping is a fast growing style of hip hop dance. It originated in the African-American community of South Central Los Angeles, California and is a relatively new form of the "Urban" Black dance movement. It is free, expressive and highly energetic.

"Krumping" should never be confused with "crumping" which is a slang term for affectionate cuddeling between lovers.

"Krump" or "Krumping" is an evolution of the "Clowning" or "Clown-dancing" style or manifestation of the Black Dance movement. Clown Dancing was created in the early nineties by Thomas Johnson aka Tommy the Clown, who was a hip-hop dancer and spokesperson for then California Governor Gray Davis. In 1992 Johnson began fusing different local dance elements and created a unique, appealing, universal style that also aided him in promoting his own career as a clown for children's parties.

Johnson had been in trouble with the law since his youth and living in a gang-ridden area. He saw dance as a positive outlet. Johnson believed one could avoid gang involvement and gang violence through involvement with dance. In developing Clowning, he fused local elements of Black Dance such as "G dance" or "Gangstaer boogie" and stripper dancing (alluding to the sexual and highly active performance style of black strippers). Clowning also employs certain elements of Jamaican Dancehall moves such as the "butterfly" or the "rodeo", as well as elements from popping and locking, two older and more established forms of black dance usually associated with breakdancing. Clowning also involves painting the face - a direct result of the dance's origin for use in Tommy's clown performances.

Using the dance to enhance birthday party clown acts and to advertise his business, Tommy the Clown gained notoriety in the area. Soon significant numbers of the area's youth grew interested in the dances he performed and he was able to focus on teaching dance solely. Johnson began teaching parts of his style to local youth and gained many followers who were dubbed the Hip Hop Clowns. He would perform publicly with the most adept children or dancers (the age span ranged from 6 into the 20's) and eventually was able to use profits from this to open a school/academy in South Central Los Angeles. This underground movement soon spread beyond South-Central L.A. and Compton to the rest of California and beyond.

About 50 clown dancing groups exist currently and krumping has entered the mainstream hip hop culture through its performance in various music videos.

The inception of Krump occurred when a number of the original hip hop clowns and youth during that generation of clowning became older, drifted away from Tommy, and moved on from the child-oriented nature of clowning.

Individuals such as Big stomp and souljah stomp, Tight Eyez, Big Mijo,and Jay Smooth are the originators of krumping while Lil'C, Dragon-Slayer, Miss Prissy, etc. through contributing a lot to krumping, are few of the fathers; see Krump Kings. More specifically it is necessary to address these individuals variously as the "First Generation", "Big Homie" or "Kings of Krump" because as the originators, these are the only individuals that can hold all of these titles; however, other Krumpers may be known by one of the three terms.

A highly volatile, expressive and versatile form of black dance which was developed and is constantly evolving, krumping is now a structured form of dance, with a variety of styles. It had started as an release of aggression and anger and a nonviolent alternative to the street violence that is widespread in many of the areas where it is performed.

Since then a movie has been released called "Rize" by Lions Gate Films directed by David La Chappelle, which impicts the street dance from clowning to krumping. This has given Krump plenty of exposure and since then has risen popularity in the hiphop dance community.

Krumping usually involves physical contact between dancers, which can often look like a fight to outsiders, and in few cases can develop into a fight, or include violent physical contact. However, the participants understand this to be part of the dance and neither condone nor advocate assault and/or violence. In this respect, there is a certain parallel with the mosh pit in punk rock.

Various styles of krumping include:

* Goofy: Pioneered by the krump practitioner "Goofy" himself. It is the least aggressive of the krump styles, usually funny and energetic.
* Rugged
* Beasty
* Grimey: dirty, mistrating, wrong.
* Flashy
* Cocky: stuck up, conceited.
* Jerky
* Bully
* Tricks

Krumping has developed into a structured and organized society. The dancers are grouped into cliques (or tribes) called "families", these structures being reminiscent of B-boy breakdancing crews or (some have argued) Voguing Houses. Each of the families are organized around a mentor, or the style of a mentor, King, or marquis Krump dancer. Families such as the Filipino Rice Track, Eyes, Slayer, Rude, and others, are organized with hierarchies that defer in battle or representation to a more expert or respected Krump dancer. Such an individual is known as a "Big Homey" and they take "Lil' Homies", or younger, less experienced and/or beginner practitioners of Krump under their wing, allowing them to learn from them, and represent them in battle. Both titles are terms of respect. These sort of relationships may be interpreted as mentor/apprentice arrangements, similar to those in the Middle Ages and Renaissance arts periods. However, they are more of a surrogate sibling arrangement. These relationships serve a necessary purpose, not only in the absorption and learning of the art and its technique, but also in providing an unfortunately all-too-rare positive image and example for these Lil' Homies. This social dynamic also has more modern parallels in its contemporary, b-boying (more commonly known as breakdancing), which is a more developed and older facet of hip-hop culture and the black dance movement, and more loosely so in the culture of graffiti or "writing" as it is more correctly referred to.

A competition structure has developed as dancers vie for status and respect in the Krump elite and this phase of the Black dance community at large. Contests like the original Tommy the Clown's Battle Zone are often organised to create viable venues for establishing a structured and defendable system of competition and recognition. Contests within the world of Krumping are also called "battles" (as they are in b-boying) and they are held at various events such as the Cages and Arenas.

Krumping (not Krunk-ing) is often confused with Clowning, but while the two are related by form and origin (and vaguely by style), differences are visible. They share the same basic speed, and a similar movement pattern: a rapid rhythmic bobbling and jerking of the body, as well as the intermittent flex of the spine and thrust-out chest, which may be called "the krump" or a "bobble bounce".

Krumping, however, is a more sinister and aggressive dance form and is intended as an expression of anger or a release of pent-up emotion through violent, exaggerated, and dramatic moves. High variation, individuality, and movement are the foundations of the Krump or bobble bounce. It must be said that the current focal point of the dance as of 2006 and its differentiation from Clowning is becoming centralized around the elimination of sexual or erotic movement, particularly by males (such as twerking, booty popping, freaking, snaking and winding). This is currently considered the taboo when Krumping, and is called "popping cakes" (cakes being the buttocks). It may also be referred to as "poppin bakes", the difference being due to the gang culture pervasive in California. In a CRIP hood, "b" words (words beginning with, or often containing, the letter b) may not be said, or must be altered; and in a BLOOD hood, "c" words are similarly taboo. So cakes becomes bakes, and boulevard becomes coulevard (pronounced soulevard).

The belief that Krump dancers regularly engage in face-painting is also a misconception: this is a Clown practice, and as Clowning and Krumping have been mixed and misrepresented in their introduction to the public (through music videos of artists such as Missy Elliott), it has been misinterpreted as a regular Krumping practice. Face-painting is a matter of choice and is practiced only occasionally by a small percentage of the Krump community. The confusion may be a result of the movie Rize which documented the founders and other initial practitioners during the infancy of Krump as an art form; thus, the footage was from a time when the Krump kings were actually evolving from Clowners into the Krumpers of today. The Krumpers' modified use of face paint served as a visual indication of this split. The style and cultural symbolism of this painting (used mostly during the early Krump movement, but now adopted by Clowners) has evolved from the circus clown image into ceremonial indigenous (ie tribal), war, or dance paint. This could signify the development of a third school of a darker or more aggressive nature within Clowning, but still remaining Clown-oriented. In Clowning, there are older Clowners who have styles similar to Krumping but still associate themselves with (and are loyal to) the Clown school of dance.

Filmmaker David LaChapelle's documentary Rize, which offers an intimate portrayal of the clown dancing subculture, was featured at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. He says of the movement: "What Nirvana was to rock-and-roll in early '90s is what these kids are to hip hop. It's the alternative to the bling-bling, tie-in-with-a-designer corporate hip-hop thing. Krumping has also risen in popularity in cities such as Atlanta, Detroit and Houston. 'Krumpers" such as Willie the Kid, Hot-Lanta and Cray-G have propelled krumping into the dancing mainstream. "

Krumping has had an impact on pop culture and has been seen in music videos, movies and television shows. Some examples are:

* Missy Elliott's I'm Really Hot music video
* Madonna's Hung Up music video.
* Madonna's Sorry music video.
* The Black Eyed Peas's Hey Mama music video
* The Chemical Brothers' Galvanize music video
* Skinny Puppy Pro-Test music video
* Be Cool, the 2005 film
* Sean Paul feat. Keyshia Cole "Give It Up To Me" music video
* Chris Brown's "Gimme That" music video.
* Pussycat Dolls "Beep" Music Video
* Poked fun at in the 2006 romance film spoof Date Movie
* Daddy Yankee "Rompe"
* So You Think You Can Dance June 21, 2006
* Shake City DVD
* Golden Series of Krump DVD
* Rize (2005 film)
* America's Next Top Model, Cycle 6 April 12, 2006
* Bring It On: All or Nothing

Krumping was featured in the second episode of the eleventh season of MadTV. However, the scene ends with the girl clown getting choked and punched. Also, Alyson Hannigan guest-starred on an episode of MADtv where she took krumping lessons from the same two clowns and they now appear in many episodes of the show.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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